Colleagues,

As you probably know, the RCSD is proposing in their 2019-2020 Draft Budget a reduction of 326  positions – including 194 teachers, 50 administrators, 27 Civil Service positions, 28 paraprofessionals and 26 Teaching Assistants. The entire list of teacher positions that could be eliminated is attached below. Among the highest targeted teaching areas are Reading Teachers (31), Elementary Teachers (30), Teachers on Assignment (25), Intervention/Prevention Teachers (18), ESOL Teachers (17), Science Teachers (10), Social Studies Teachers (9),Special Education Teachers (9), Physical Education Teachers (9), Home/Hospital Teachers (8), Registrars (8), Counselors (5) and teachers in other disciplines (see attachment for full list). Declining student enrollment is cited by the District as the primary reason for the proposed reductions.

Anticipating this, we have submitted to the District last month a strong Retirement Incentive proposal that would avert the need for teacher lay-offs or at least substantially minimize them. Last Friday we reached a Tentative Agreement with the District on this Retirement Incentive. The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on it on Thursday, March 28th. If ratified by the Board, this negotiated agreement could result in substantial and ongoing savings for the District, reduce their structural budget deficits, avert or minimize teacher lay-offs, and create opportunities for further diversification of our teacher ranks.

The Board of Education scheduled two Public Budget Hearings to seek input on the proposed draft budget. The first will be on Tuesday, April 2, the second on Thursday, April 11. Both sessions will be at Central Office, beginning at 5:30pm. By then we should know whether the Retirement Incentive has been ratified by the Board. Please hold these dates. We may be asking you to attend and help advocate for our colleagues and for our students.

If you have questions, or wish to know your seniority ranking, please call Martha Keating at the RTA (546-2681) or email her <maskerade6@aol.com>. Meanwhile, we will keep you informed about our continuing efforts to avert teacher lay-offs and save services for our students.

Adam Urbanski, RTA President